GIS: Grenada’s fishing Mecca, Gouyave, is getting ready to say good-bye to its one lane Lance Bridge, and hello to works that will give way to a state-of-the-art reinforced concrete bridge with sidewalks, similar to that of the recently built Hubble Bridge.
All this is due to commence this week. But before the demolition of the bridge can begin, one has to ensure that all alternative routes are in a state of readiness.
That was what Minister for Works Hon. Gregory Bowen and his team were up to last Friday as they drove and walked along the Dr. Belle and Central Gouyave Estate routes, where work has been ongoing for this purpose.
Minister Bowen acknowledges that a major artery will be closed once the bridge is demolished, but assures that the by-pass roads will be effective.
“We have toured with the police and project personnel to determine how soon the bridge will be demolished. We have the by-pass already, but it will be one way up and one way down,” Minister Bowen said during his site visit Friday.
According to a May 15 release from the Ministry of Works, the approved routes for one-way traffic are:
- Langton Road from its junction with Edward Street to its junction with Central Gouyave Estate
- Mongo Road from its junction with Central Gouyave Estate to its junction with Middle River and
- Dr. Belle from its junction with Central Gouyave Estate to its junction with Upper Depradine Street.
According to the release the traffic change will take effect from Thursday, May 18, 2017.
The Works Minister said further delays of the project are not encouraged and it is extremely important that work begins before the rains are upon us.
“We are already in May and the waters are coming up. So, we want to give the contractors the time to get off the bottom of the river and to move off with the platform. Once they get above that, we will be happy. The rains can come then, because it will not disturb the work,” Minister Bowen said.
Parliamentary Representative for St. John Hon. Alvin Dabreo is more than anxious to part ways with the ancient structure.
“It’s a one-way bridge. It’s very congested and has no sidewalk. You have pedestrians and traffic competing for the very small space that is there right now. So, we would like to see that problem alleviated, whereas we could have both pedestrians and traffic moving at a comfortable rate,” Minister Dabreo said.
“We know that we would have to go through some level of inconvenience, but we have upgraded our side roads that we would be able to accommodate traffic flowing them.”
The construction of the new Lance Bridge falls under the World Bank Regional Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (RDVRP) and is expected to take up to seven months.